15 départements on ‘red’ heatwave alert in sizzling France

Tuesday spelled yet another day of spiking temperatures in France, as the country entered what was predicted to be the last day of the week-long heatwave.

15 départements on 'red' heatwave alert in sizzling France
Parisians cooled down under water-spraying fans this week as temperatures soared over 35C. Photo: AFP

The national weather agency Météo France placed 15 départements on 'red' and 53 départements on 'orange' heatwave alert for Tuesday, the highest and second highest levels of alert.

“The maximum temperatures will fluctuate a little because of the cloud cover and the risk of thunderstorms,” Méteo France said in a statement published on their website, adding:

“But (the temperatures) will remain generally similar to the day before, often between 34C and 37C.”

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Among the areas on 'red' alert were the greater Paris region Île-de-France, Hauts-de-France, Eure and Seine-Maritime.

'Red' alert signifies that there is a “danger to life or health”.

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Météo France said the reason for the 'red' alert in the north was that the current Covid-19 health context increased the “risk for excess mortality,” a risk further heightened by the pollution levels in urbanised areas.

Large parts of the country will see thunderstorms hitting in the afternoon and evening, with Météo France placing several départements on 'yellow' alert for “occasional strong or even violent thunderstorms.”



Source: Météo France

The weather agency predicted heavy rain and potential hail and lightning later across the western coast, beginning in the northwestern regions Pays de la Loire and Normandy and moving towards Paris and the northeast.

Temperatures will “drop significantly in the west of the country on Wednesday and Thursday,” and “on Friday, we will no longer be talking about a heatwave in France,” Méteo France said.


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South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.